Every single time I pick up a Donna Hay magazine or a Donna Hay recipe book, I end up with a very strong urge to bake or cook everything that's featured in it. Most of the time, I actually do end up baking something. There's a certain magic that her books have. Everything from the way the recipes are written, to the clear concise instructions to the plain and simple yet so delectable photos. Everything about her books just make you want to pick up the spatula and start churning out baked goodies.
When it comes to Donna Hay, I have no complaints. I only have praise. Today is another of those days where I say more good things about Donna Hay. I haven't baked much this year so I was clearly suffering from a serious baking deficit disorder. So much so that the moment I started baking two apple tarts for the two Christmas parties that I attended, I must have let my guard down and got bitten. Yes, by the baking bug. It's a very good thing I insist. My friends will agree and I'm sure my family won't protest.
The joys of baking, the immense pleasure derived when your prepared baked good goes into the oven to complete its life cycle. Then there's the nose twitching knee jerk reaction whenever the prized baked good lets out the most irresistable aroma. Till this day, I still literally jump and run to the oven the moment my nose picks up on the toasty, buttery, lip smacking smell that charges through the old rusty Moulinex. I get high on these buttery smells.
Flipping through a Donna Hay recipe book gives me that same high. I can picture myself with the finished baked good and looking very happy. I imagine Donna Hay giving me an approving nod and a thumbs up sign. I am also very optimistic because I think every thing I bake using her recipe will end up looking as beautiful as the ones pictured in her book. I'm an easy sell I think. But it's okay.
Yesterday I couldn't help but flip through my Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2. This one has to die for cookies, biscuits, slices, small cakes, cakes, desserts, hot puddings, pies and tarts. The first page got me so excited and by the time I reached the end of the book, I was hyped up and on a high. I wanted to bake something. I wanted something that would make me very happy.
And there it was on page 157, and it spoke to me:
An apple pie it was. I must say it was the photo in the book that had me sold. It looked just like the ones Enid Blyton always had by the window sill, in all her story books. Enid Blyton was my literary crack when I was a child and I have not forgotten. I had never made a pie as well. The only thing close was the apple tart. But tarts are different from pies.
So after getting my groceries, I started prepping. I made the sweet shortcrust pastry, refrigerated it for 30 minutes. I cooked the granny smiths and let it cool. When it was time to lay out the pastry, I went round looking for a pie tin. Then I realised I only had a tart tin. Pie tins and tart tins are different things. But time was running out and I had no time to get a pie tin so I made do with my tart tin.
Laying down the pastry case ove the apples was a challenge. I had to be careful not to tear it. This recipe also called for some egg wash and sugar (to sprinkle over the pastry).
Here's the pie out of the oven: